Global Pet Expo 2011

Global Pet Expo 2011
March 23, 2011 by Connie Wilson

Last week I travelled to Orlando, Florida to attend Global Pet Expo. It was wonderful to trade the grey skies and cool temperatures of my hometown, Vancouver, for the 27 degree, balmy warmth of Florida (no wonder so many choose to winter in this tropical paradise!). Although the purpose of my trip was business (my colleague Sara, and I were there to scoop the latest and greatest the pet industry has to offer), we still found ourselves with enough time prior to the show to have some fun at Universal Studios Theme Park. Although we only had enough time to visit the worlds of Jurassic Park and Harry Potter, (Sara is a serious Jurassic Park fan), it was well worth the money to have four hours in these fantastically well-done escapes from reality (photos below).

Global Pet Expo (GPE) ran for three days. Many would think that one or two days would be more than enough time to see everything. Not so! Although we were there at opening time each day and didn't leave until closing, there was so much to see and with a show-floor seemingly football-fields long, we were hard pressed to get to all the booths we had planned to visit. Apparently, this year's show was the largest (most exhibitors ever) as well as the best attended. Many pet industry manufacturers wait for this show to unveil their latest creations, so it's always fun to be among the first to see what's new. Many of our "finds" will be showcased in our upcoming summer issue, so stay tuned! An added benefit of attending shows such as GPE is that is gives us an opportunity to connect with many of our affiliates and advertisers with whom we would otherwise  seldom get a chance to meet in person.

Of note: Victoria Stillwell, our Spring 2010 cover girl, was honoured with GPE's Excellence in Journalism Award at a press conference held Thursday night.  I was also delighted to meet Cesar Milan in the pressroom and had to smile when I caught him browsing through a copy of Modern Dog's new Spring issue!

Here are some photos of our trip that I thought you might enjoy...

Cesar Millan in GPE's press room, relaxing while enjoying a copy of Modern Dog's new spring issue:

Here's the GPE gang with guests Victoria Stilwell and spokeman from Purina (thanks to Purina whom sponsored the press event)

Here's Jude Stringfellow with Faith, her two-legged wonder-dog: 

Robin Meyer NYC's booth

Unleashed Life's booth:

Booster Bath's booth:

The Pet Lifestyle And You (P.L.A.Y) booth:


Every business trip needs to be balanced with a little bit of fun.  Sara and I head off to Universal's theme parks:

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

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